A new military faction was established in Idlib province In 2018 under the banner ‘Ansar AL Tawhid’ being led by Abu Diyab Sarmin. The number of the manpower is estimated at 350 fighters, and they are based in Sarmin, Nayrab and Latikiya mountains. Answar AL Tawhid is Junda Al Aqssa faction after rebrand.
The leadership of Ansar l Tawhid attempted in the beginning to recruit fighters of the Jund Aqssa who remained netural during the infighting between the factions, in addition to those who pledged allegiance to HTS and the Hizb Turkistani, as well as those who were wanted by HTS.
The announcement was preceeded by several meetings between the HTS commander Abu Mohamed Julani and Abu Diyab Sarmin, the commander of Ansar Tawhid. In the meetings, they agreed to release more than 5 fighters from Jud Aqssa, most of whom were commanders previously arrested by HTS. HTS took this move because it does not have any concern over the Ansar Tawhid, on the contrary, it is fully aware that the latter would support it in case a new fighting break out against Tahrir Syria, bearing in mind that Junq Aqssah also sees Tahrir Syria as an enemy.
The new formation commanders are trying to recruit into their ranks the former fighters of the Jund Aqssah and bring in new fighters by convincing them that the new formation is similar to the Aqssah faction in terms of beliefs and ideology.
In addition, there are ongoing talks and meetings to discuss the structure of the formation, with the help of the “Abu Mohammed Zour,” one of the leaders of the al-Aqsa who pledged allegiance to the Hizb Turkistan in the mountains of the coast region. They are also attempting to recruit more fighters from the countryside of Maaram al-Nu’man and southern rural Idlib. The Ansar al-Tawhid organization has considerable quantities of weapons, including mortars, anti-aircraft and various armored vehicles. Some of its recent military operations include the targeting of the towns of Kufria and Al-Fo’a with mortar shells in a joint operation with HTS”.
Their present efforts are also concentrated on gaining as much as support from the masses in Idlib province., despite the fact that the current data show that the new formation is disliked by the local population because the latter are aware that they are just Junq Aqssa in disguise. The latter is dispised for its multiple human violations it carried out agianst the local civilians.
On the level of factions, the formation of “Ansar al-Din” and the organization of “Hurass Am-Deen” have announced in a joint statement their merger into one body under the name ‘Nusrat Al Islam ( Support of Islam) with the aime to establish and implement Sharia law and repel the agressors.